I am Maggie, Keith's wife, soul mate, caregiver, Primary Provider and spokeswoman for him. We found out when we first got married Keith had GERDS, the GI doctor told us to take tums avoid certain foods, never once told us heartburn could cause Barrett's or Esophageal Cancer. that was 24yrs ago. The data was there but sadly doctors were not up to date or aware. 12 years later, Keith got really sick camping had to drive him home to the hospital. He was admitted and that is when the best doctor in the world Dr Harold Schwartz, in Derby CT. did an endoscope on Keith and the results came back that he had Barrett's, put him on Acid medication and told him he need to be scoped yearly to keep an eye on things. Still not knowing that it could turn to Cancer. The odds I guess were low by the studies they had that were completely out dated. Been in the medical field since I was 19 yrs old, never in my life did I hear that chronic heartburn could cause Cancer. "Older Males that drank heavy and smoked heavy overweight get Esophageal Cancer". Wrong! December 2005 Keith went for his yearly scope, no biggy as we were used to doing each year. we had a great Holiday, then on January 3, 2006, we got the call not the normal letter that Keith needed to make an appointment.We went in that day and all I remember is the look on the doctors face his voice saying I am sorry he converted to Cancer. Most of the rest is a blur. He converted to adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, we stayed strong as best we could to try and help the kids cope, even though I was told he was having major surgery that he might not come back from. His surgery was 2-1-06, they took out his complete esophagus 3/4 of his stomach attached it at the top of his neck and pulled the intestines up. The first 2 weeks he was in intensive care and they were preparing me that he might not make it, I prayed everyday and on 2-14-06, the most romantic day of my life, he got better beat all the infections and came off the respirator, they let me stay in the room and he squeaked out the words I LOVE YOU, once the tube came out, he cried I cried and the whole hospital team cried. He recovered quickly after that and was home 2 days later. We made it through and I just kept my faith. He did well till he started chemo and that really took a toll on him, the kids and I stayed strong, they were his caregivers while I worked and then I took over when I got home till the morning. In August 2006, my son called me and said dad just is not right but he didn’t want to bother me at work because we needed to pay the bills. My kids called me anyhow and they are very mature for their young years, I didn’t hesitate I sent an ambulance to get him and bring him to Yale. If my son didn’t call he would have been gone when I got home. He developed a cardiomyopathy (virus that attacked his heart) and when I met him at the ER he was critical. Keith has had many complications over the years since diagnosis, but has fought and overcame them. things are done differently now. they do chemo before surgery, then a wrap up chemo if needed. the complications are less done that way. each year we learn more and more about EC and do what we can to help others get awareness out. We are here we are still fighting many battles financial, still some health problems with Keith. Just know that people are surviving find the doctors with the most knowledge in treatment of Barrett's and Esophageal Cancer and never give up hope. Maggie and Keith Solsbury
Years since diagnosed:13
Thank you for sharing your amazing story. To know that he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer over close to (20) years, and the two of you continue to fight, inspires me to continue fighting. I was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer and I am currently receiving chemotherapy. Again, your story reminds me to never give up and continue fighting, especially when I become depressed. Thanks, Juan Lebron Dayton, New Jersey read more.